Final between Suns and Bucks brings together everything that is interesting in the NBA
Surprisingly, Phoenix and Milwaukee begin to decide on Tuesday the champion of the world's top basketball league.
The Los Angeles Lakers of LeBron James and Anthony Davis bolstered the team to defend their title; the Brooklyn Nets built a super team, with names as:
1. Kevin Durant
2. Kyrie Irving
3. James Harden
The Los Angeles Clippers have had pretensions of achievement from the moment Kawhi Leonard and Paul George teamed up.
However, different from what all basketball betting sites expected, the NBA finals will be between Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.
With the help of expert Evelyn Balyton, we will talk a little more about these two sides and how they got so far in the NBA this season.
The Big Surprises
Milwaukee and Phoenix may not be NBA dream markets or have names like LeBron, Curry or Durant in the cast, but that's why this NBA Finals encounter becomes so intriguing. After all, we have two franchises that ate the bread with the devil crumpled until they could see the light; we have the improbable rise of a mega star, we have injuries at inopportune moments and support casts that suffered with questions until they managed to prove themselves in the moments of greatest need, that is, a true "juice" of everything that is passionate about basketball and sports generally.
The Milwaukee Bucks, for example, were last in an NBA Final when one Kareem Abdul-Jabbar still dominated the court in the early 1970s, having won the title in 1971.
The Phoenix Suns came close, but never did. In 1976, the team reached the decision for the first time, led by Paul Westphal, and lost a historic series to the Boston Celtics. Then, in 1993, Charles Barkley's Suns fought valiantly, but faced none other than Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls at the height of their considerable powers. And then, in the 2000s, Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni, with a charismatic and talented team, hit the crossbar three times.
Seeds of Success
Even in the years when success seemed distant and hopelessness reigned, Bucks and Suns were planting the seeds for better days. That skinny young Greek who sold swag in Greece was recruited in 2013. In his first season, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, the only remnants of that squad, won 15 games.
Today, the pair is the main responsible for the constant evolution of the team. Giannis has become the league's bi-MVP and one of its most dominant players, while Middleton is one of the best pitchers in the NBA and has delivered decisive performances in the playoffs.
In Phoenix, during the team's lost decade, the Suns recruited Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges. The trio was part of a 19-win season that happened only two years ago, but the talent was there, a talent that caught the attention of one of the top conductors in NBA history.
Even with Giannis solidifying himself as one of the best players in the NBA and the Milwaukee Bucks becoming one of the league's strengths, the franchise has still seen some disappointments and twists, including disappointing losses to Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat.
With that, the franchise had to show service to its main star and reinforce the team, before convincing him to accept a contract extension. With Jrue Holiday, the team got another elite scorer and someone capable of taking the pressure off Giannis and Middleton in attack.
However, as the Bucks grew stronger, the Brooklyn Nets were also building a squad capable of immediately challenging for supremacy in the East. The inevitable clash ensued, and the Nets dominated Milwaukee, until Kyrie and Harden's injuries weighed heavily against the New York team.
However, in a "hurried" season, riddled with injuries, the Milwaukee Bucks are dealing with their own embezzlement and that can be decisive in these Finals. Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a hyperextension of his left knee in Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks and is expected to miss the first games of the decisive series.
In Phoenix, Chris Paul proved to be the missing ingredient to put the house in order and give direction to the obvious talents of Booker, Ayton and Bridges. Guided by coach Monty Williams, the team ended the season with 51 wins, recording the second-best NBA record.
Despite the dream season after a decade of defeats, in the playoffs, problems began to appear. In the first round, against LeBron's Lakers, Paul sustained an arm injury and later, the point guard lost the first games of the Conference Finals due to league health protocols to fight Covid-19. Any young, inexperienced team would miss their main reference. However, these Suns are different.
In the face of adversity, Phoenix showed all their weapons. The defensive focus of Bridges and Crowder, the posture of DeAndre Ayton, the energy of Cameron Payne, a player who wasn't guaranteed his place in the NBA just over a year ago. And above all, Devin Booker, using all his talent to score points, create plays and decide games.
As much as the absences of LeBron James and Steph Curry, who a decade ago made their presence in the NBA Finals, strange to the fan, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns will be a plate full of storytelling, drama and competitive basketball.